Maurice Jones-Drew and the Oakland Raiders agreed upon a three year contract this morning. This continues the Raiders tradition of hiring veteran players in the twilight of their careers.
Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area first reported the news on Thursday. “Maurice Jones-Drew has agreed to terms on a contract with the Raiders, two league sources confirmed to CSN Bay Area late Thursday night. Exact terms of the contract remain undisclosed.” After the veteran running back passed his physical this morning Maurice Jones-Drew formally signed a contract with the Raiders.
As of a few hours ago the deal was still not final according to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, “A deal still not final, but Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew and Raiders are expected to agree later today on a three-year deal, per sources.”
NFL.com points out that NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that, “Jones-Drew was visiting with general manager Reggie McKenzie and his hometown team with contract talks moving at a rapid pace.”
aurice Jones-Drew was plagued by injuries last season. He is joining another injury prone running back, Darren McFadden, in the Raiders backfield. MJD will replace Rashad Jennings who signed with the New York Giants as a free agent.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, “Jones-Drew has been far more durable and reliable than McFadden. He’s missed only 14 games during his nine-year NFL career — 10 of those came in 2012 as a result of a foot injury suffered against the Raiders at the Coliseum.”
“It’s likely McFadden will enter training camp as the projected starter. Jones-Drew and second-year player Latavius Murray would get an opportunity to challenge for the lead role.”
The Raiders have made some great moves in the free agent pool so far this season. They have added quarterback Matt Schaub, defensive end Justin Tuck, and offensive tackle Donald Penn. The Raiders are making a good attempt at being competitive in the AFC West next year by adding talented and accomplished players. Time will tell if the silver and black can make the veteran chemistry successful the way they did last decade with Rich Gannon, Tim Brown, and Jerry Rice.
Sporting News reports, “Before signing with the Raiders, Jones-Drew had visited the Pittsburgh Steelers; the Patriots and Jets also had been speculated as potential suitors.”
Maurice Jones-Drew played his first eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he rushed for over 8,000 yards and 68 touchdowns. He was also the league’s leading rusher just two seasons ago.